Keep it down

Tonight, Chris, his parents, and I went to dinner with Chris’s mom’s cousin and his wife, who happen to live just four blocks away from our apartment in Hell’s Kitchen. We usually see them once a year when Chris’s parents are in town. The more I have seen his mom’s cousin’s wife, the more funny I think she is. She is extremely gregarious and social, very opinionated, and quite loud in volume. The last part always cracks me up, especially when she laughs. Like me, she has a loud laugh, and I always love how when she laughs, her husband seems to have a somewhat sheepish look on his face, and sometimes even asks her to lower her voice and calm down. He asked her to do this tonight when she was talking about a series on Amazon Prime about Indian wedding planners and being open about sex. I loved every second of this story, especially her facial expressions as she was describing bits of it.

It’s a bit of a gendered expectation, isn’t it, to expect your wife to be quiet (or quieter, in this case), to not laugh as much, to be less vocal or lower in volume. They have children who are high school- and college-age, so they are older than us, but I am always relieved when I witness little gendered gestures like these that I am not married to someone who tells me to keep my voice down and not to laugh as much or as loud. I’m loud when I laugh, and well, everyone just has to deal with it. And if they want to be as loud, they can certainly join the party.

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